Friday, February 27, 2009

Caring Families

For the many anti family groups such as Focus on the Family, AFA and Concerned Women for America, there seems to be this constant focus on "protecting the family." What exactly does this mean? Who are they protecting the children/families from?

With all of the fighting for equality and rights, how can those hateful groups say we are not families or that we don't have loving homes?

How can they be so filled with hatred
in their attempts to destroy our families? Aren't there so many homeless and unwanted children who do not even know what love is all about?

By destroying families and denying children of loving homes, who is really advocating/protecting CHILDREN/FAMILIES???

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Their Values...

People are pushing to legalize the mind stimulating drug marijuana, states (ruled by religious right Republicans except Virginia) such as Texas, Alaska (looking to instate it), Utah, Virginia, Florida and South Carolina support the death penalty yet refuse to allow or agree to domestic partnership/marriage protections between 2 consenting adults whom care so much for each other and want nothing more that to protect each other thru the same legal rights afforded to their hetero counterparts.

Another reason many who rule those states don't want the passage of domestic partnerships is because they say it will cost more "taxpayer dollars." (aren't we also taxpayers?) Why should the LGBT Community pay taxes to support heterosexual benefits? Shouldn't we pay fewer taxes since we are not equal in their eyes and are not afforded the same protections?

Why do other's have the right to dictate/deny me the "privilege" of caring for, giving my belongings to and being their for the one I care about? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE AND WHEN ARE WE GOING TO FINALLY SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?????????????????


Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Religious Conservatives Fear Gay Rights Advance

Religious conservatives fear Congress will advance gay rights legislation
By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade | Feb 19, 2:41 PM Anti-gay conservatives are increasing their rhetoric and activities because they fear public officials are more likely than ever to act on pro-gay initiatives.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said opponents of gay rights are “lying and spreading misinformation in greater ways than they ever have before.”

“The more gains you make and the closer your opponents are to losing, the more ferocious they are in the way in which they lash out,” he said. “That is just the nature of social change.”

But Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said even as anti-gay forces use homophobic rhetoric, Americans are becoming more able to see through it.

“Anti-gay activists have continued to recycle the same divisive rhetoric and inflammatory misconceptions in their attack on LGBT people and our families,” he said, “and I think more and more people are seeing a contrast between the inclusive, affirming rhetoric of our current administration and the divisive, politics of the past that these groups represent.”

One ill-fated attempt at demonizing gays emerged last week, as a one-hour television special targeting gay rights was slated to air on WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. The show, titled “Speechless: Silencing Christians,” was promoted as a program that would “reveal the truth about the radical homosexual agenda.”

The opening of the special, which is still available to view online, shows women who suggest they were arrested for “trying to share the gospel.”

Another male speaker decries how “we have compartmentalized where the gospel is allowed to go.” A female speaker says gays “can’t tolerate a story like mine that says … I used to be gay, but with the help of Jesus, I’ve been able to overcome that.”

Grassroots activists in Michigan worked for days to convince WOOD-TV to remove the show from its schedule. Colette Beighley, assistant director of the gay resource center at Grand Valley State University, led the grassroots efforts by spearheading online networking on Facebook and speaking against the special to local news outlets.

On Feb. 11, shortly after HRC issued an “action alert” urging supporters to call the station and oppose the special, WOOD-TV rescinded its offer to air it.

The American Family Association, the organization that produced the show, didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

Anti-gay forces on the defense in GOP

On Feb. 12, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, issued a statement urging Michael Steele, the newly elected chair of the Republican National Committee, to resist giving the Log Cabin Republicans a greater voice within the GOP.

In an appearance on Fox News earlier this month, Steele, who has a history of opposing gay rights initiatives as a former one-term Maryland lieutenant governor, said reaching out to people who support gay rights is “an important opportunity” for the GOP.

LaBarbera’s statement warns Steele that reaching out to Log Cabin may cost the Republican Party supporters in its base.

Michael Steele and the GOP need to do the math,” LaBarbera said. “It is foolish and impractical to risk alienating millions of pro-family, pro-life, conservative grassroots Republicans to appease a tiny homosexual special interest group with fewer members than the population of Liberal, Kansas.”

LaBarbera told the Blade he issued the statement to Steele because he thinks Log Cabin “is angling to say that it has got the upper hand” with the election of Steele as RNC chair.

“Log Cabin is out of step with the grassroots base of the Republican Party,” LaBarbera said
. “When you’re joining the other gay groups in trying to reverse Proposition 8, very few Republicans are going to say that’s a winning strategy for the Republican Party to be behind.”

LaBarbera said he has heard that “hundreds, if not thousands” of calls were made to Steele’s office in support of Americans for Truth’s statement. The RNC didn’t respond to a request to comment.

LaBarbera acknowledged that there was fear among social conservatives because “at least politically, on the Hill, the gay side is stronger than ever.”

Regarding lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, Solmonese said HRC has noticed “increased activity” in opposition to the movement of pro-gay initiatives.

“I think the fact of the matter is, as we become more successful and we’re able to move legislation in a more successful way, either at the state or the [federal] level, we see increased opposition to that movement and we always will,” he said.

A number of organizations traditionally opposed to pro-gay initiatives wouldn’t comment on whether they shared a perception that anti-gay rhetoric and activity has increased since the election. Focus on the Family declined to comment for this article and the Family Research Council didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A resident of North Carolina, Spaulding said there are efforts underway there to encourage the state’s General Assembly to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. North Carolina is the only state in the South that doesn’t have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on Monday urging the General Assembly to bring the marriage amendment to the floor for debate
, Spaulding said. And supporters of the ban are planning to stage a march near the state capitol and bus people in to Raleigh on Tuesday, she said.

“I think they are desperate to have some more wins because, quite frankly, they spent a ton of money getting Prop 8 to pass, so they need to fill their coffers,” she said. “And the fact that they don’t have a hotline to the White House any longer means that they have to increasingly participate in activities that make them highly visible in order to keep the money coming in.”

Spaulding said she didn’t know whether anti-gay forces would succeed in passing a marriage amendment in North Carolina, but she predicted that if the groups are unable to pass any more anti-gay initiatives this year or in 2010, they will fall back on the line that “they are oppressed Christians and that any pro-LGBT efforts are squashing religious freedom.

“I think that this continued theme of being victimized by the homosexual agenda is their backup plan if the public decides that [it] isn’t important enough to pass any anti-gay legislation,” she said.

Online media used to further anti-gay causes

Anti-gay groups are also making use of online media to advance their positions.

The National Organization for Marriage launched a web site and a group called the DOMA Defense Fund last month to raise money to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allows states to ignore same-sex marriages enacted in other states.

“In the wake of repeated setbacks at the ballot box, and with an increasingly receptive audience in Washington, gay marriage advocates are now seeking to impose same-sex marriage on the entire nation with a single stroke of the pen,” the web site says.

The web site urges opponents of same-sex marriage to tell their legislators to uphold DOMA and donate money to the DOMA Defense Fund to “take this effort from coast to coast with radio and TV ads if needed.

Solmonese said it’s interesting that anti-gay activists are focused on DOMA because “it’s in a basket of a greater set of things we’re working on.”

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is gay, previously told the Blade that “we’re not even close to being able to” repeal DOMA.

Web sites have also been launched to advocate against the approval of relationship recognition bills in various states, where passage in state legislatures seems imminent.

In Maine, where lawmakers are poised to debate same-sex marriage, the Maine Marriage Initiative has launched a web site arguing that, “changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples has very real, and very negative, consequences.” And in Hawaii, where the legalization of civil unions is about to be debated in the Senate, a group has created a web site to protect Hawaii’s “keiki,” or children, against “homosexual marriage in the state.”

Spauding said anti-gay forces are “not afraid to use the Internet to spread their message,” but added, “whether or not they have a receptive audience — that is questionable.”

“This is about energizing the base activists on their side,” she said. “I think they’re just throwing everything against the wall at this point.”

Solmonese agreed that “social conservatives have been behind the ball” in exploiting online media.

“I think that most people agree that that’s a generational issue,” he said.
“New forms of communication — whether it’s social networking or cell phone technology — those are things that tend to be used more by younger people who tend to be more supportive of LGBT issues.”

And how should gays respond when opponents speak out against them — be it through television specials, activism or online media?

Bonnie says "we must continue to stand together as one and fight!" Fight these hate spewing bigots at every opportunity and Remember, if we don't, what rights we have and those that we seek can be lost by a "stroke of the bigoted pen!" I promise to fight on as long as I have the breath to do so...

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In a Blaze of Bigoted Glory

5 bills presented to the Utah Legislation seeking LGBT rights went down in a blaze of bigoted glory thanks to Utah state senators like Sen. Buttars. Buttars whom is an extreme bigoted, anti gay individual has likened our community to an organization of extremist terrorism.

On Sunday, a conservative group called America Forever ran full-page ads in Salt Lake City newspapers that likened gays to “druggies and hookers.” The ads declared homosexuality is “anti-species behavior” and said that “gays should be forced not to display” their sexuality in public.

Earlier this month Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) said that he supported Common Ground and was in favor of civil unions, although no civil union bill was part of the Common Ground package.

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Being different and how it has changed my life

Growing up in a dysfunctional family was never something easy as I was usually distant from most people except for my "circle of a few friends" and those I worked around (actually "volunteered" as the owner of the shop usually stiffed me of my pay). Some of the most memorable times were when I was around the shop and spending time with some of my co workers/friends.

My boss and most of my co workers were gay (gay was something I had never heard of as I pretty much lead a sheltered life). Anyway, I have to say that many of the people I had met were people I was very comfortable around as there was something waiting dormant deep inside myself I had known was different but never allowed to "grow" until a much later time in my life. It wasn't until the early part of 2oo2 that the real me was struggling to come out.

With the help of online research and a very special place known as The LOFT, more and more resources and people became available that helped me to learn and grow until the inner fear would take over and cause me to find comfort back in the closet. As I struggled to overcome the fears, I would "crack open the closet door and peek out." In and out I would go until finally I decided that with the growing concerns of pain, confusion and the attempt of suicide hanging over me, I had to do something. So, finally I decided I was going to come out and not look back as I began to talk with my most favorite family member (besides my dad) my aunt whom I love more than life (not to mention she was acceptant as she is also from the LGBT community).

As the years have passed, I have continued to struggle and grow as the world deals with the various issues from war, the economy to LGBT rights. What has helped me to not give up and continue the fight is this part of me that feels like my LGBT brothers and sisters need to have as many dedicated voices and committed individuals as possible if we are going to win equality. It is a difficult and tiring fight but who said that fighting for what we believe in would be easy? People have been struggling, fighting and even dying for what they believe in, myself included!

We must continue to believe that change is coming as we have been witness to something spectacular in a country divided by hate and bigotry as Barack Obama became America's first African American President.
Equality will come if we never give up!

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

California Legislators Support Prop 8 Challenge

A legislative committee has endorsed legal efforts to overturn California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 Tuesday to put the legislature on record as opposing Proposition 8.

The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for March 5 on a series of lawsuits that argue citizens lack the authority to put the gay marriage ban directly to voters.

The resolution goes next to the full Assembly, and the state Senate is scheduled to consider a companion measure in coming weeks.

California Lawmakers, do the right thing and strike down Proposition 8. It is just plain wrong and serves no purpose but to deny equality to a minority group.

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!

Thank you!

Thank you to a special individual who has touched my life with her kindness and desire to help me to grow thru her ealier teachings and understandings when I was coming to terms with coming out and learning to accept me and all the beauty that had been hidden away for so many years.

Yvette, you have been a bright, colorful and comic light in my journey of life and hope that I can one day be that in the lives of others who are struggling to find acceptance...

Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart!